by John and Ruth Greene
It’s often said that money is the root of all evil. That worldly truism was lifted from 1 Timothy 6:10. Scripture actually says that greed for riches is the root of all evil. The greed or lust for a life of wealth easily leads to evil. The creation of fiat money is the very nature of power in the world of man today. The falsehoods of this world certainly lead to death as clearly defined by scripture. Still, if money is considered the root of all evil, in this day credit has easily taken its place. (1 Corinthians 10:13, 31; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Proverbs 21:20)
“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” – 1 Timothy 6:9-10
Some respected studies have shown that the average American family is a mere three weeks away from personal ruin and bankruptcy. Bankruptcy used to be a new start, but increasingly, many debts cannot be vacated for any reason except for death. What does scripture really say about debt?
Scripture is clear that all people are to incur debt only with the expectation of paying for that debt. (Leviticus 25:39) However, scripture did call for compassion just as YHWH is compassionate.
“When there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, within any of the gates in your land which YHWH your Elohim is giving you, do not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, for you shall certainly open your hand to him and certainly lend him enough for his need, whatever he needs. Be on guard lest there be a thought of Beliyaʽal [wickedness] in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is near,’ and your eye is evil against your poor brother and you give him naught. And he shall cry out to YHWH against you, and it shall be a sin in you. You shall certainly give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this reason YHWH your Elohim does bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand.” – Deuteronomy 15:7-10, ISR98
The repayment of debt was secondary to brotherly love and cultivating purity of heart. In old Israel, debt was to be canceled based on Sabbatical and Jubilee years. Deuteronomy 15 also specifies that all debt is to be released every 7 years, even prohibiting long-term slavery in a world that was full of it. (Deuteronomy 15:1-2, 12-13) The idea was that Israel was to be a nation of free people that looked to YHWH for guidance in every aspect of their personal lives. Scripture indicated a strict model for every debt in Israel. (Matthew 6:33)
Financial law and statute in the United States used to mimic the model of scripture is some ways. The United States Constitution mandated that Congress was to enact uniform laws in the restructuring or cancellation of debt. The modern world has been steadily walking away from any scripturally-derived policies and ideas regarding debt, putting more people in a world of hurt when hard times come around. Modern law ignores the scripture that prohibits interest of any amount among countrymen. In the past, simple interest became an acceptable way to do business. More recently, because of greed, usury and excessive interest have become the norm rather than the exception. (Matthew 6:12; Luke 14:28; Romans 13:7-8; Proverbs 22:7; “*System of Mammon: The World Banking Hierarchy”; “News: The Ten Kingdoms of the New Order”)
The prohibition on interest is founded on YHWH’s covenant with His people. This prohibition is grounded in the compassionate treatment of various oppressed groups: the resident alien, widows, orphans and the poor. The United States has been making inroads on recouping the cost of the poor by taking from the poor through an unconstitutional child support system and welfare system that consists of profit-based corporate entities that eagerly look after themselves. (“Continuation of Global Empires until the End”: “Financial Usury & Bible Truth: Lending, Giving & Borrowing”)
“If you do lend silver to any of My people, the poor among you, you are not to be like one that lends on interest to him. Do not lay interest on him. If you take your neighbor’s garment as a pledge at all, you are to return it to him before the sun goes down. For that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin. What does he sleep in? And it shall be that when he cries to Me, I shall hear, for I show favor.” – Exodus 22:25-27, ISR98
“And when your brother becomes poor, and his hand has failed with you, then you shall sustain him, and he shall live with you, like a stranger or a sojourner. Take no interest from him, or profit, but you shall fear your Elohim, and your brother shall live with you. Do not lend him your silver on interest, and do not lend him your food for profit.” – Leviticus 25:35-37, ISR98
“Do not lend at interest to your brother, interest of silver, interest of food, or interest of whatever is lent at interest. To a foreigner you lend at interest, but to your brother you do not lend at interest, so that YHWH your Elohim might bless you in all that you put your hand to in the land which you are entering to possess.” – Deuteronomy 23:19-20, ISR98
Ezekiel 22:12 and Nehemiah 5:10-11 condemn lending money with interest. Ezekiel 18:13 lists the taking of interest among sins worthy of death.
Perhaps interest on loans that are based on a corporate fiat monetary system created from nothing is why your nation isn’t prospering. Then again, the scriptural ban on interest would apply to gold or any ‘precious metal.’ Gambling with commodities and other ‘financial derivatives’ aren’t condoned by scripture either, creating the potential for great ruin. The curse is ready to light on governments and other authorities involved in such dealings, especially in any case where government and those entities are directly involved in financial actions that involve interest. (Proverbs 13:22, 26:2) Those leaders, moneylenders and the wealthy that fail to follow the advice of YHWH are certain to experience the ‘curse of nations’ specified in Deuteronomy 28. Certainly, YHWH hasn’t changed His mind, even if international moneylenders could be considered to be foreigners. This is because almost all nations in the modern world do not have control over their own currencies. Privately held corporations that manage central banks are managed by a cabal of international bankers that manipulate their own privately generated money for their own benefit and influence. (“Foundation of a Global System of Mammon”; “Modern Mammon: Power of the Fractional Reserve”; “Bible Prophecy & the Rise of the Corporation“)
Today, the word ‘usury’ applies to the idea of ‘excessive interest.’ In this day, few question the morality of profiting from a loan at what are seen as ‘normal interest rates.’ This is in contrast to the old Jewish tradition that indicates that you are better off selling your daughter into slavery than borrowing money on interest. Today, we have a special kind of slavery where credit cards bear interest rates of 20.99% and higher while pay day lenders may demand annual rates in excess of 2,000%. Banks are even getting involved in the payday scam. The devil is certainly in the details. Psalm 15:5 describes a righteous person as one who lends money without interest (Hebrew: neshek). In Biblical terms usury IS interest. Anyone that lends with interest is NOT righteous. However, we can probably agree that most moneylenders aren’t concerned with righteousness in the eyes of YHWH. Interest on loans, however, is clearly against His Will. (“News: Hyperinflation & False Teaching”; “Globalization Associated with Poverty & Oppression”; “Religion, Power & Financial Corruption”)
Yahshua [Jesus] said, “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.” (Luke 6:34-35; Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:25) Disciples of the Messiah are to be concerned for the well-being of others, especially fellow brothers and sisters of like trust, under all kinds of circumstances.
Yahshua [Jesus] was true to scripture regarding interest and debt forgiveness, placing love and concern for others over material things, wealth and greed. He also had the principles of interest and immoral profit taking in mind when He promptly admonished the money changers and those selling merchandise, removing them from the Temple. (John 2:14) The consistent teaching of both the Jewish and Apostolic Testaments is that compassion, mercy and justice always trump ‘economic concerns.’ Perhaps, this is just one reason why Messiah said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Elohim.” (Mark 10:25) The Messiah made a statement that is often misunderstood in the parable of the unjust steward. “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.” (Luke 16:1-9) A lifestyle of mammon will surely cause the wicked to fail (failure in the world of man is common), but giving unrighteous mammon away can create a benefit for when the wicked need help. How much more so for a brother or sister that is in possession of much or little. He often pointed out that how you treat, judge and forgive others will be returned back to you. (Luke 6:36-37; Luke 12:33; Matthew 6:14)
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38
All of this attention to the issue of lending, giving and forgiveness indicates that the old nation of Israel struggled as Christians do in this day. The sin of nations was all around them, seeking to pull them in. However, this doesn’t make the sin less grievous to YHWH where His people are concerned. The truth is that lending on both ends is evidence of a lack of trust in the Father. The ‘rights’ of lenders and citizens in the world today don’t match scripture, which put modern lending and profiteering in clear violation of YHWH’s law.
In ancient Israel, wealth was a blessing that was to be used to help others. (Deuteronomy 8:11-18, 28) Obedience to YHWH and compassion for others results in blessings for all. The poor tithe, goodwill offerings, gleaning laws and the Jubilee year were provisions by YHWH, ways that the children of Israel could show brotherly love and respect for each other while obeying Him. A permanent national instrument was in place to insure that a misfortune did not permanently destroy or enslave families. It allowed all the potential to have a decent life without hunger, supporting fairness while promoting the enjoyment of economic kinship and spiritual brotherhood. Many Israelites left Babylon and returned to restore the land. In order to pay their taxes, many were forced to sell family members into slavery. (Nehemiah 5:3-11) In the restored occupancy of Israel, Nehemiah had the courage and conviction to keep YHWH’s law, demanding that all usury cease at once.
There is no such courage in the United States. Bankruptcy law in the United States is no longer the opportunity for restoration that it was. In 2005, George Bush signed new law that no longer alleviates crushing poverty or allows for a new beginning. A predatory economy has become a way of life. Instead, the system shamelessly promotes unhealthy financial nonsense as wisdom and denies the relief of any debt to the state. This means debts such as school loans and child support never go away and can never be relieved, even in cases of extreme hardship. For many, this new law supports “debtors’ prison” for debts that can never be forgiven, nor can those in poverty, disability and illness have a chance to live without oppression from the government system in place. Nobody is looking out for the ‘little guy.’
Instead, corporations enrich themselves and lobby the government for more power. Modern day money changers shamelessly peddle debt as the American Dream, even after a national collapse in 2008. Banks and other monetary institutions use every opportunity to profit at the expense of others without responsibility on their part. Certain institutions even sell debt to ‘third parties’ with the idea of collecting it in perpetuity. The government bankrolls and approves this kind of voodoo economics, a sad state of affairs that is not sustainable. The money that Americans slave for loses its purchasing power every decade to inflation for a monetary debt that is never paid. Those that have squirreled money away for retirement risk losing it, for it doesn’t truly belong to them. It belongs to the bank or institution that holds it, but ultimately to the Federal Reserve Bank, a corporate-owned institution that operates in violation of founding documents in the nation. The government backs a hollow banking system, creating the illusion of stability and confidence by allowing the continuous printing of money. (John 10:10)
“In general, unsecured creditors, such as depositors of a bank, will have very little redress to recover their debts if a company is put into liquidation…In the case of banking, it indicates the limited responsibility of a bank towards depositors once the bank has the money put into its account. The principle illustrates that the relationship between the depositor and the bank is not one of principal and agent, where the bank as agent acts on behalf of the principal in their interests. The money deposited in an account is no longer deemed as belonging to the principal but rather to the bank.” – Banking Regulation of UK and US Financial Markets by Dalvinder Singh, page 83
Policy and statute of the United States undermines the family, denying them economic and social stability. Instead, this government supports the single parent family model with the idea of empowering government authority and creating dependence on Uncle Sam as a ‘sugar daddy.’ This attracts many irresponsible damaged women to abuse the system and their children. The fathers of children are relentlessly persecuted in a child support system that creates slavery and more poverty instead of alleviating it. The system is about propagating fear and submission as it demotes the powerless and prevents relief for the suffering. Government corporations are paid twice what they collect in child support at taxpayer expense. Other corporations are part of an invisible government with funding that promotes more secrecy. If the people knew about the degree of corruption, ‘good governance’ would surely be brought down. The corporation is elevated to a state of godhood as money lobbies to promote more benefits for commerce. The government of the United States has few real friends, but is accustomed to buying ‘friends’ to form alliances. The federal and state governments are just beginning to reap the punishment that YHWH has promised for them in Deuteronomy 28, the ‘curse of nations.’ The bankers and those like them will meet their reward as well. Those that are in this false authority and that operate under that authority are unjust, antichrists, demonic agents, condemned to the same end as Satan. (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 19:20, 20:10, 14-15, 21:8; “World Order Built on Money & False Security“; “*Analyzing the New World Order: Religious Leadership Calls for One World Authority”; “Living in an Apostate World”; ”The Truth of the Apocalypse”; “*The Empire Under the Beast” )